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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 28, 2003

On the Horns of a Dilemma

Wanted. One strongman for Iraq.

Daniel Pipes describes the dilemma
[...]This state of affairs leaves coalition forces in a bind: As vanquisher of the Saddam Hussein regime, they aim to rehabilitate the country, which means sticking around. As liberator of the country, they must respond to Iraqi wishes, which means getting out fast.

What to do? If coalition forces leave Iraq precipitously, anarchy and extremism would result. Stay too long, they will face an anti-imperialist backlash of sabotage and terrorism. Hold elections too fast, the Khomeini-like mullahs will probably win. Keep the country under an occupation force, and an intifada would rear up.
His solution
Therefore: Iraq needs - and I write these words with some trepidation - a democratically-minded Iraqi strongman. This may sound like a contradiction, but it has happened elsewhere, for example by Atatürk in Turkey and Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan. Yes, it goes against every American instinct ("Democracy Now!" is the name of a national radio show) but that's not a reason to reject it. MORE